Diversity recruiting involves taking a more inclusive approach to hiring job seekers from groups that are often underrepresented in many businesses, such as women, individuals with diverse backgrounds with regards to race, ethnicity, and/or national origin, members of the LGBTQ+ community, military veterans, and older workers. The overall goal of this method of outreach involves removing hiring obstacles and biases that candidates face to ensure they are considered equally for employment opportunities.
U.S. businesses are required to follow the hiring guidelines set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which makes it illegal to discriminate against applicants based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. But following the letter of the law is not quite the same as diversity hiring, which seeks to address both conscious and unconscious biases that can impact hiring decisions.
Expanding recruitment efforts to diverse pools of talent provide organizations with significant business advantages including:
- Increased profitability, with highly inclusive organizations generating 2.3 times the cash flow per employee and 1.4 times the revenue
- Stronger brand image
- Tapping into the skilled workforce of the future
- Strengthened company culture and boosted employee morale
- Increased employee engagement and reduced turnover
As a certified LGBT Business Enterprise by the NGLCC, Sparks Group is a diverse supplier and staffing agency dedicated to the unbiased placement of high-quality job candidates. We work closely with employers to strategically meet their staffing and supplier diversity needs in alignment with their business growth goals. If you are looking to increase workforce diversity, fill out the form on the right and we will be able to help.
Building a Supplier Diversity Program? Read our white paper to learn more about how Sparks Group can help as a Certified LGBTBE Staffing Agency
What Are the Benefits of Diversity Recruitment?
The COVID-19 pandemic tested business leadership as they determined how to best ensure employees can work successfully and safely without tanking productivity. During uncertain times, companies that prioritize inclusive recruitment strategies can bring on lucrative talent that will be vital for recovering from the quarantine and supporting long-term business objectives.
No matter the situation, companies that hire more diverse job candidates:
1. Increase Profitability Through Gender Diversity
According to a 2020 McKinsey Diversity Wins report, businesses with executive teams in the top quartile for gender diversity were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability than those in the fourth quartile. This finding was four percent higher than what was determined in McKinsey’s 2017 report, and 10% more than the estimated profitability from their 2014 analysis.
In addition, companies with more gender representation stood to outperform companies with a smaller portion of women executives, with a differential outperformance likelihood of 48%.
2. Increase Profitability Through Ethnic Diversity
The McKinsey report also found that organizations with culturally diverse executives experienced similar gains. Businesses in the top quartile for ethnically diverse executive teams outperformed those in the fourth classification by 36%, up from 33% in 2017.
While these findings indicate hiring female and ethnic executives is lucrative for organizations, the inclusion progress has been minor. Gender diversity moved up one percentage point from 2017 to 2019, at 15% female. During that same time period ethnic diversity for executive teams only increased two percent to 14% in 2019.
To help strengthen inclusion and the benefits it brings, McKinsey recommends that businesses take several steps including:
- Increasing diverse representation within executive, management, technical, and board roles
- Promoting transparency to prove promotions and pay processes are fair
- Fostering an environment that encourages individual expression and acceptance.
3. Earn Work Opportunity Tax Credits
The federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) provides incentives for employers that hire people who face employment challenges. Individuals within those targeted groups include qualified veterans, residents within empowerment zones and renewal communities, summer youth employees, and qualified long-term unemployment recipients. Employers who certify that they hired an approved group member can claim the credit to offset Social Security taxes.
4. Attract Skilled, Diverse Workers
As past generations age out and a new generation enters the workforce, younger skilled workers will play an important role in future recruitment opportunities. While estimates of the U.S. millennial workforce representation can range anywhere from a little over 40% to 75% by 2035, what can be agreed on is that these workers will make up a significant portion of the country’s skilled working population for decades to come.
These younger workers are more diverse than their predecessors, making it more important than ever for businesses to remove hiring barriers and promote inclusive recruiting practices. According to the Brookings Institution, by 2035 both millennial and pre-millennial generations will be over 45% diverse, at 47.6% and 54% diverse, respectively.
Download the report: Millennial Workforce Engagement
5. Strengthen Company Brand
Moreover, promoting workforce diversity better reflects a diverse customer base and strengthens a company’s brand equity with consumers and prospective employees. Businesses with more inclusive recruitment processes build a reputation that they value and include broader perspectives and backgrounds, which helps differentiate them from businesses that don’t. Job seekers from different cultural backgrounds will recognize this and may be more likely to work at your office instead of a competitor’s.
To eliminate bias in hiring and begin building an effective diversity recruiting strategy, companies should focus their efforts on the following key elements of the talent acquisition process.
Building an Effective Diversity Recruiting Strategy
1. Update Job Descriptions
The way that a job posting is written may reveal an unconscious gender bias that recruiters may fail to recognize. A Harvard study found that gendered wording of job advertisements signals who belongs at a company and who doesn’t. Nearly all (97%) of postings for male-dominated professions using masculine wording rated less appealing by 43% of women.
To improve diversity recruitment, be aware of the language being used in job advertisements and job descriptions. Eliminate any wording bias that may lower the job’s appeal to a diverse range of candidates. Examples of unconscious bias would be listing job titles with a “man” ending instead of “person” (such as with “salesman” or “chairman”) or using gendered descriptors like “guys.” Both of these examples can deter non-male job seekers from applying.
Related Reading: Employing a Diverse Workforce to Reach Your Company’s Goals
2. Remove Job Requirements That Unnecessarily Limit the Candidate Pool
Hiring managers looking to promote inclusive recruiting practices should analyze their organization’s job requirements, especially when it comes to education level, as this can limit the diversity within the job applicant pool. As part of this effort, companies should consider being more open to hiring candidates without specific undergraduate or graduate degree requirements, or who took gap time. In addition, it’s important for employers to consider a wider variety of school experience including online and community college degrees instead of limiting searches to in-person or ivy league establishments.
Another job application component that can unfairly exclude diversity are requirements for background checks, drug screenings, and credit screenings. Since these practices may unfairly disqualify a skilled worker, such as with a misdemeanor that happened a decade ago or a bankruptcy filing that occurred during a period of economic hardship/unemployment, organizations should consider removing these requirements. It should be noted that the federal government, along with many state/local governments, have legislation in-place that restrict the use of certain screenings/interview questions, as these requirements have been known to block upward mobility, disproportionately impact job seekers from certain ethnic backgrounds, and are sometimes seen as an invasion of privacy.
Related Reading: 4 Strategies to Write Inclusive Job Descriptions
3. Enhance Training Programs
It’s important that hiring managers, recruiters, and team leaders throughout the organization receive diversity and inclusion training to help employees recognize, understand, and combat bias that affects hiring decisions. For changing attitudes and behaviors, improving diversity and inclusion throughout an organization, a thorough focused, and mandatory course of training works best.
Related Reading: Signs Your Internal Hiring Team Needs Help (and Training!)
4. Upgrade Company Policies & Procedures
The policies and procedures employees follow may impact one group of employees more than another. Review your company’s policies and procedures – and not just hiring or diversity initiatives. Also check policies and procedures governing parental leave, scheduling, and dress code to determine whether they impact one group more than another. As companies work remotely due to the pandemic, these policies extend to things like enabling access to work from home with the necessary technology and safety while transitioning back to the office.
5. Partner With a Diverse Staffing Agency
A staffing agency helps support diversity initiatives and promote diversity recruitment throughout an organization. Well-versed in monitoring and combating recruiting bias, staffing professionals have access to the tools for data-driven, unbiased candidate selection.
A staffing agency also assists your company with eradicating bias in the resume screening and initial selection processes. From the start of the hiring process, they help elevate and broaden applicant diversity.
Diversity recruitment is growing in importance as more organizations look to the potential benefits of a diverse workforce, including improved innovation, revenues, and overall company performance, diversity recruitment is growing. As such, it is crucial to structure the hiring process to promote diversity and inclusion to create a company culture that welcomes and appeals to a wide variety of employees.
To improve your company’s diversity recruitment, consider working with a staffing agency. Eliminating bias in the initial stages of the hiring process creates a more diverse pool of applicants, which translates to more opportunities to make unbiased, merit-based selections and, over time, create a more diverse overall workforce.
Promote Diversity Recruiting With Sparks Group
Sparks Group is a leading staffing and recruiting firm certified by the NGLCC as an LGBT Business Enterprise. Our expert recruiting teams are dedicated to the diverse recruitment of high-quality job candidates across all industries for positions in temporary, contract, and permanent roles. We take a vested interest in building relationships with organizations across the country focused on driving equal employment opportunities in the workplace
Sparks Group helps employers strategically meet staffing and supplier diversity needs in alignment with their short and long-term business growth goals. We work as a consultative partner for companies to help analyze job descriptions for unconscious bias and review candidate reporting metrics to identify roles that aren’t as inclusive as others.
To begin implementing a diverse recruitment strategy with a trusted strategic staffing agency, complete the form to connect with our experts.